Author: Vasavi Kumar
Living with bipolar disorder has been a tumultuous and unpredictable journey, filled with highs of mania and lows of depression that have left me feeling as though I’m on a rollercoaster ride that I can’t get off. The intense emotions and rapid mood swings have at times made me feel lost and overwhelmed, unsure of how to navigate the turbulent waters of my own mind. But amidst the chaos, I’ve found solace in exploring creative outlets. Whether it’s losing myself in the vibrant colors of a painting, getting lost in the rhythm of a dance class, or finding my voice through acting and voiceover work, these pursuits have given me a sense of peace and purpose that has been invaluable in managing my symptoms. Through creativity, I’ve discovered a way to ride the waves of my moods and channel my energy into something beautiful and meaningful.
During a particularly challenging time, I stumbled upon a pottery workshop in my neighborhood. I had taken pottery classes as a child so the idea of molding something beautiful with my own two hands spoke to me. As I sat at the pottery wheel, I found myself getting lost in the moment. The physical act of molding the clay was incredibly soothing, and as I created something beautiful, I felt a sense of accomplishment and purpose. It was as if I had finally found a way to quiet my mind and get out of my head.
Over time, I’ve tried a variety of creative outlets, each offering its own unique benefits. For example, I’ve found that taking hip hop dance classes is an effective way to channel my energy in a positive direction when I’m feeling manic. The music and movement allow me to release the pent-up energy in a healthy way, and the joy I feel from dancing carries over into other areas of my life.
Acting and voiceover classes have also been a significant part of my creative journey. Through these classes, I have rediscovered my love for playing with my voice. I’ve found that exploring different characters and voices has helped me harness the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. These classes give me something to look forward to and a sense of purpose.
When I was feeling particularly low and unmotivated, I decided to sign up for an acting class. As soon as I started exploring different characters and voices, I felt a sense of excitement and joy that had been missing from my life. Playing with my voice allowed me to tap into a part of myself that I had forgotten about. It helped me to feel more alive and engaged in the world.
One of the biggest challenges of living with bipolar disorder is managing the intense mood swings. However, I’ve found that creative activities can be a powerful tool for managing these shifts. When I’m feeling manic, I can use dance, writing, or drawing to channel my energy in a positive way. When I’m feeling depressed, I can use creative activities to lift my mood and find a sense of purpose.
For example, when I’m feeling low, I like to write poetry or short stories. The act of putting my thoughts and feelings down on paper can be incredibly cathartic. It helps me to process my emotions and find a sense of release. Similarly, when I’m feeling anxious, I like to do yoga or meditation. These practices help me to quiet my mind and find a sense of calm.
Exploring creative outlets has been a significant part of my journey with bipolar disorder. Through these activities, I have found ways to manage my symptoms and improve my overall well-being. If you’re interested in getting started with creative activities, here are a few simple steps you can take:
Start small: You don’t need to be an artist or a dancer to benefit from creative activities. Start with something small, like coloring or doodling, and see how it makes you feel.
Try something new: If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, try something new. Sign up for a pottery class or a cooking class and see how it feels to learn a new skill.
Find what works for you: Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different creative activities until you find what works best for you.
In closing, I want to say that exploring creative outlets has been a lifeline for me. It’s helped me to navigate the ups and downs of bipolar disorder and find a sense of joy and purpose in my life. I encourage anyone struggling with mental health challenges to consider the power of creativity. Whether it’s painting, dancing, or writing, creative activities have the potential to heal and transform us in ways we never thought possible. So, take a leap of faith, and see where your creativity takes you. You never know what beautiful things you might create along the way.
Through her communication training, consulting, and programs, Vasavi helps her clients which include Entrepreneurs, Executives, Athletes, and Celebrities to be more comfortable, confident, and in control during media interviews, telepresentations, and interpersonal communication so they can show up confidently. As a First-Generation Indian Immigrant she made her parents proud by going to Columbia University to receive her (second) Masters in Social Work. As an on-camera personality, actress, and comedian, she brings out the uniqueness in each of her clients so that they go from self-conscious to self-expressed, on and off the camera. Vasavi has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, FOX, VH1, and was a regular on NBC’s Kansas City Live as the “Keepin’ It Real” guru. For more from Vasavi and to learn more about how you can stop hiding and start shining in your business, stop by her Instagram @mynameisvasavi or vasavikumar.com. You can pre-order her book Say it Out Loud now!